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Office of News and Information
Johns Hopkins University
901 South Bond Street, Suite 540
Baltimore, Maryland 21231
Phone: 443-287-9960 | Fax: 443-287-9920

May 15, 2009
CONTACT: Heather Egan Stalfort
(410) 516-0341 ext. 17

Evergreen Hosts First Retrospective of Designer
Erno Fabry

Student-curated exhibition opens with
public reception on May 18.

Never-before-exhibited work of industrial architect and designer Erno Fabry, one of the most prolific promoters of European-born modernism in post-World War II America, will be featured in Modernism at Evergreen: Erno Fabry (1906- 1984), on view at The Johns Hopkins University's Evergreen Museum & Library, Monday, May 18, through Sunday, Oct. 25. A free opening reception will be held from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. on May 18. Reservations are requested at 410-516- 0341.

The first major exhibition to be devoted to the Czech- American designer, Erno Fabry (1906-1984) features more than 45 pieces of furniture, architectural plans, drawings, textiles, and photographs, revealing that Fabry was a powerful force in the architectural theory and practice of his era. He assisted in redefining the living environment, designing affordable furniture, textiles and houses that reflected the idealism of the post-World War II era.

"Fabry contributed to the formulation of a truly modern American aesthetic, and that is why we are eager to bring his work to wider public attention," said James Archer Abbott, director-curator of Evergreen Museum & Library. Abbott organized the retrospective with students in his spring 2009 undergraduate course, Curating Culture at Evergreen Museum & Library, part of the Krieger School of Arts & Sciences' Program in Museums and Society.

Erno Fabry began his career under the influences of the very industrial design vocabulary of Germany's Bauhaus of the 1920s. In particular, his European architectural designs revealed a strict adherence to the sleek, unadorned facades espoused by German and French modernists of the 20s and early 30s. After immigrating to the United States in 1938- 39, much of his own design sensibility adapted to the somewhat superficial or consumer-committed vision of his new employer, American industrial designer Norman Bel Geddes. By the end of World War II, Fabry espoused a more unique and personal design sense — one that melded Bauhaus simplicity with a northern European interest in natural materials and themes.

"The Erno Fabry exhibition is a natural extension of Evergreen Museum & Library's on-going interest in and support of 20th-century design," said Winston Tabb, Sheridan Dean of University Libraries and Museums at The Johns Hopkins University. "While not a guest at or contributor to the former Garrett family home, Fabry's career was greatly inspired by the idealism of the post-World War II era — idealism largely promoted through the diplomatic career of Ambassador John Work Garrett," added Abbott.

Modernism at Evergreen: Erno Fabry (1906 1984) is made possible by the Evergreen House Foundation. The exhibition is complemented by a fully-illustrated publication, made possible by a generous grant from Erno Fabry's daughter and son, Joan I. Fabry and Roy V. Fabry, who also shared their father's drawings and other related materials as a basis for this innovative course.

Visitor Information

Modernism at Evergreen: Erno Fabry (1906 1984) is free as part of museum admission, and on view in the museum's North Wing Gallery from May 18 through Oct. 25 as part of regular guided tours. Tours are offered 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, and 12 p.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. The last tour is at 3 p.m. Closed Mondays and New Year's Day, Independence Day, Thanksgiving Day, and Christmas Day.

One of the Johns Hopkins University Museums, Evergreen Museum & Library is at once an intimate collection of fine and decorative arts, rare books and manuscripts assembled by two generations of Baltimore's Garrett family, and a vibrant, inspirational venue for contemporary artists.

The museum is located at 4545 N. Charles Street in Baltimore, Maryland. For general information, the public may call 410-516-0341, e-mail evergreenmuseum@jhu.edu, or visit www.museums.jhu.edu.